Using Design Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation
There are clear distinctions between design thinking and design. If strategically executed, design thinking can determine business results and outcomes. More importantly, design-led companies such as SAP, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, and Apple used design thinking for innovation. That’s how they outperformed their competition by 211%, which is an extraordinary achievement.
There are many real competitive advantages that design thinking services can bring to any business. When used in terms of innovation, design thinking principles become a business strategy that improves the success rate of your business.
There’s a lot more to design than just creating services and products. It’s safe to say that design thinking has come a long way in transforming how leading companies create brand value for their customers.
When applied to customer experiences, business protocols, procedures, and systems, it can help a business not only beat the competition but also set new standards by introducing innovation.
Differences Between Design Thinking and Design
The whole point of any design is not to show how one product feels or looks like, but to show what it does and how it works. It’s the action of bringing innovation to the table that matters the most.
Design thinking for innovation comprises creative design services that include providing a proactive stance that solves a problem using a particular design. It takes adaptive and routine expertise to come up with an innovation that helps solve dynamic situations.
One of the most significant differences between design thinking and design is the framework. A framework for design thinking surpasses classic creative problem-solving, as modern customers demand personalized customer experiences and real brand value.
It offers a structure based on innovation and understanding customers’ needs, which contributes to the organic growth of both the business and the customer base.
It provides the solution to customers’ problems, but it also caters to their unmet needs. That practically means that design thinking allows businesses to provide customer value within viable business strategies to match customers’ exact requirements.
This framework isn’t just problem focused. It explores all possibilities to provide suitable solutions and actions based on intuition and reasoning, with the primary goal aimed at providing benefits to customers.
Five Phases in Design Thinking
Five phases comprise the design thinking process.
Empathy helps businesses not only understand the needs of their customers, but also to identify with their needs, wants, and demands. Design thinking empathy includes recognizing the problem to understand it.
This helps brands take a customer-centric approach and provide solutions that cater to the needs of their customers on demand. This is the best way to provide a customer experience that exceeds expectations.
2. Problem Defining
All the information gathered during the empathize phase needs to be carefully processed and elaborated to define the problem clearly.
It’s essential to look at the information through customers’ eyes as that’s the only way to put things in the right perspective that satisfies both customers and your business goals.
When the problem is defined, it’s time to come up with a solution. It’s vital to step outside of the comfort zone here. That’s the most effective way to introduce innovation while solving the problem at the same time. The ideate phase includes several techniques that provide useful solutions:
All these techniques stimulate creativity to open a whole new field of possibilities and come up with innovative ideas that will add more value to the customer experience.
This is the phase where the solution is put to the test before the final product is launched. This is where any additional changes are made until the most applicable solution is at hand. This phase serves to see how the solution works in the real world.
Once the best solution is found, it’s time to thoroughly test it to see how consumers cope with it, empathize, and use it.
Implementing design thinking in Business
When it comes to design thinking in business, it helps organizations take a customer-centric approach to come up with a solution that solves real problems people experience daily.
Design thinking allows brands to put themselves in the shoes of their customers and become omnipresent in their lives. This is the reason why design thinking brings many valuable benefits to your organization:
- Shift focus on problem-solving – most businesses struggle with achieving their goals and problem-solving due to an inefficiency in identifying the problem and the cause. To make problem-solving more accessible, you need to listen to your customers and ask for feedback. Engage with them to better understand their point of view and see their problems with unclouded eyes.
- Educate your team about design thinking – design thinking includes an entire mindset, a culture that needs to be understood, and all your staff should take time to learn about it. The more your team practices the mindset, the easier it gets to introduce innovation in every aspect of your business.
- Constant debrief – for some reason, this is the most troublesome part for most businesses. This is probably because most people don’t understand that design thinking is a process, it takes time, and it’s crucial to analyze feedback every once in a while.
- Feedback – it’s essential to open your ears and listen, as the point is to find the best solution possible. This means that you’ll need to iterate and test for as long as possible. The newer angles you discover, the more innovative your answer is.
With proper creative design services, any business can make experimentation and empathy work for them, instead of against them.
Innovation that design thinking brings to the table can help your organization cater to the needs of your customers in the most effective way, but more importantly, in a personalized approach that puts the power back into the hands of your customers.
There’s a lot of opportunities here for brands that know how to recognize them. Opening your doors to innovation means providing a personalized customer experience, which inspires brand loyalty and trust. This is what gives your company social proof that customers come first, indeed.